Peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) is grown throughout the tropics, much of the subtropics, and even in some temperate zones. As with Bambara groundnut, its pods have a subterranean growth habit, and thus it also has acquired the common name, groundnut. Peanut is one of the few commonly grown legumes whose seeds contain high levels of oil. Most legume seeds have less than 5% oil, but for some peanut cultivars seed oil content is as high as 40-50%. Roasted seed and extracted oil is used and marketed worldwide; in some regions, young shoots and leaves of the plant are used as greens, and immature pods are consumed as a cooked vegetable. Although a nutritious legume, peanut has recently gained much attention and scientific interest due to the low, but nonetheless significant, incidence of individuals who are allergic to peanut proteins. For those extremely hypersensitive to this food, violent and life-threatening reactions can occur in response to exposure to as little as 0.1 mg of peanut. In fact, peanut is believed to be the most common cause of death due to foods.
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